It can take months or even years to build a brand that won’t be decimated by the first piece of negative feedback to appear on a popular review website, blog or social network. These days, your company’s reputation is shaped by what people say about you online, so here are five reputation resolutions to help you create a strong digital image and highly visible online presence.
Reputation Resolution #1: Maintain Consistent Branding
Every business has a brand, which is basically a unique personality characterized by everything from its logo to the colors and typefaces it uses. A strong brand is a consistent one that people will recognize. Branding is something you need to think about long before your business will be ready to start making sales, so it’s something you’ll want to get right from the outset.
Reputation Resolution #2: Monitor Your Brand
Thanks to the fact that anyone can leave feedback online, a brand’s reputation is in the hands of its customers. With consumers now holding an unprecedented level of power, it’s now more important than ever that you know what people are saying about your company online. This will help you mitigate the effects of any negative feedback before it has a chance to redefine your brand.
Fortunately, every digital activity generates data. Making sense of this overwhelming amount of data can sometimes seem challenging. However, with the help of automated Internet monitoring solutions, you’ll be able to recognize and respond to any potentially damaging information quickly and stay up to date on how people view your brand.
Reputation Resolution #3: Publish Authoritative Content
Authoritative content helps to promote your brand by demonstrating thought leadership in your industry. When marketers think about online content, they’re often thinking about SEO. However, providing searchers with valuable content may be more important that SEO in the long run. Content that is consistently referred to and consumed tends to be the type of content that does better in the search engine results anyway.
A major element of brand building involves gaining people’s trust. If, however, people are only seeing thin content associated with your brand, they’re unlikely to improve their impressions. The key to content that makes an impact is quality, relevancy and the ability to have people feeling they’ve learned something genuinely useful.
Reputation Resolution #4: Be Active on Social Media
Monitoring what people are saying about your brand online is one thing, but it’s every bit as important to be actively involved as well. No one likes to feel ignored, and not being present in the conversation is practically guaranteed to leave a bad impression. After all, negative feedback tends to compound and quickly spiral out of control when customers feel they’re being marginalized.
Maintaining active social media profiles is an important step towards building your brand, staying aware of your company’s public image and remaining competitive in a fast-moving industry. The businesses that enjoy maximal success are those with transparent approaches who are willing to show their human side by sharing information and getting involved in a two-way dialog with their target audience.
Reputation Resolution #5: Respond to Reviews
Joining the conversation on social media is one thing, but it’s also every bit as important to respond to reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook and other platforms where people can leave ratings and reviews of your company. All the major consumer review platforms also monitor and publicize your response rate and, unsurprisingly, a low response rate looks bad.
While it might not be practical to respond to every review, you should always take the time to respond to negative reviews or any reviews that ask questions or raise awareness to a certain issue. By publicly responding to bad reviews, you may even be able to turn a previously disgruntled customer into a brand advocate. Remember, a major component of branding is letting customers know you care.
Building a brand can take years of hard work and cost millions of dollars. Sometimes, it’s better to hire an online reputation management firm to take care of the hard work for you. Whichever course of action you decide to take, it’s always important to keep informed about what people are saying about you online and take every necessary strep to build an unshakable reputation that can withstand the test of time.